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Coachella Roadtrip

Having to commit to something 1 year in advanced can be difficult, especially with work schedules and everything else. None the less I surprised my boyfriend with Coachella Music Festival tickets in 2018, for April of 2019. We knew this was going to be around the time he was going to deploy again, so this was the perfect opportunity for another road trip. I planned this one the exact same way I planned the others and started piecing together cool places and spots along the way for us to stop and compiled them all in a word document.
The button below is linked to my map that I created with Roadtrippers if you want to see this trip laid out on the website.
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Day 1: Los Angeles, CA

  • Picked up our rental at the LAX airport and headed to our Airbnb

  • Lunch: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

  • The Broad Museum- The Infinity Room

    • General admission tickets sold online but you have to enter your name into a separate que for a time slot for the infinity room and you need to be there within 30 minutes of when they text you

  • The Last Bookstore

  • Coffee: Dinosaur Coffee

  • Griffith Observatory:

    • We took trails from the parking lot up to the high viewpoints. It technically closes at sundown and I will say we were really scared going up at night with wild animals, but it was so comical seeing how we all reacted to random noises we kept hearing along the way.

Day 2: Los Angeles, CA

  • Breakfast: The Butcher’s Daughter

    • This was such a cute spot, with really healthy options and juices

  • Venice Sign

  • Venice Beach Boardwalk where we shopped and checked out some of the stores

    • This was where I rode on my first Lime/Bird and it was a great idea since we had planned to walk to Pacific Park and just didn’t realize how far it really was

  • Pacific Park & Santa Monica Pier

  • Fairfax Ave to check out stores

  • Hancock Park

    • Windsor Blvd between 4th & 5th street is where you will have a perfect view of the Hollywood sign down the street

  • Dinner: Mama’s Shelter for dinner

    • Rooftop bar and eating

  • Grocery Shopping so that the car would be ready to go in the morning when we hit the road

    • This really saves time and money along the way

    • We stopped to make sandwiches any time we were hungry and had time

Day 3: Ghost Town, Car Forrest, Near Bryce NP

  • Drive to Rhyolite Ghost Town (5 hrs)

    • This area is free and has several rundown buildings you can see and walk up to

    • My favorite part was the Bottle House that was built in 1906 with 50,000 bottles

    • They had a perfect area with picnic tables so that we could make our lunch

  • Drive to International Car Forest (1 hr)

    • This was similar to the place we had been in Amarillo, TX except there were cars and buses all over and not just in a small area

  • Stop at Little A’le’Inn (2 hrs)

    • We stopped here for a break and to see some of the “alien” themed things they had to offer

    • The food was mediocre, so don’t go here expecting great food, like I did. I would compare it to a baseball game hamburger and some chips

  • Drive to Best Western by Bryce Canyon for the night, so that we are right there in the morning

Day 4: Bryce Canyon, Mystic Hot Springs, Arches NP

  • Drive to Bryce Canyon National Park (10 min)

    • We have my boyfriend’s military pass which allows free access to National Parks which is a great way we save some money

    • We checked out Sunrise Point and were planned on doing Thor’s Hammer, but the trail that lead down to that one was closed off due to weather

  • Mystic Hot Springs (2 hrs)We parked our cars and headed inside to by a day pass which is good for 6 hours after check in and around $15/ person

    • You can also rent towels here if you forgot one of your own

    • We changed into our bathing suits and all you have to do is walk around the building and up the stairs and you will quickly see all of the different tub options.

    • Each tub is a different temperature, which they will go over with you

    • This was so relaxing and incredible after being so cold that morning and tense from being in the car

  • Drive to Arches National Park (3hrs 30 min)

    • Unfortunately campsites were sold out at Devil’s Garden Campground far in advanced

      • If you are planning on going here, this is the campsite I would recommend

      • If you are like me and miss the opportunity to get a camp slot, there are a ton of options right outside of the National Park entrance

    • Set up our campsite

    • Turret Arch and North Window Arch

      • Both of these were very easy and quick to get to

    • Headed back to camp to make a fire so we could make hot dogs for dinner and s’mores

Day 5: More Arches NP, Shiprock, Monument Valley

  • Arches National Park

    • Woke up really early to head to Double Arches for some night photography

    • Delicate Arch- 3.2 miles and strenuous

      • It is very doable and you can take a break here whenever you need to, so there’s no rush

      • I think it was well worth the hike

  • Four Corners Monument- where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet

  • Shiprock (4 hrs)

    • This is one of the funniest things to me on this entire trip. We came in from one side and had to go down this really long dirt road that was then a fork in the road where we had to decide and we just kept driving towards the rock over the bumpiest road we have ever experienced. We were all laughing so hard because when we finally got to where my boyfriend wanted to take the picture, we realized there was a road on the other side, right in that spot, so we could have completely save about 45 minutes of bumpy riding

    • Long story short, do your research before going the long way around

  • Forrest Gump Point (about 2 hrs)

  • Monument Valley (25 min)

    • This is a Navajo Tribal Park, so you do have to pay to go in and also most of the areas require you to have a tour

    • We just looked at a few places from the outside looking in- if you google where you can see the mittens from the highway, that’s where we were

  • Drive to hotel near Horseshoe Bend

Day 6: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree

  • Horseshoe Bend

    • This is a free and extremely easy place to get to. You park in the parking lot and take a small, short path up to the top and then you are there.

    • There are no railings in some areas, so be careful when getting close to edges

  • Drive to Upper Antelope Canyon (11min)

    • We bought a tour time prior to the trip online for $70 a person

    • I personally like Lower Antelope Canyon much better, but it was still beautiful

  • Grand Canyon South Rim (2hr 40 min)

    • You get a map when you enter that you can look at or you can look up what parking lot you want to go to beforehand to save some time

  • Head towards Joshua Tree (6hrs)

    • Jumbo Rocks Campground- we made a reservation for this spot far in advanced online, which allows you to not worry about first come first serve and you can arrive whenever you want

    • We began setting up camp, which was quite entertaining because there was a severe wind storm with 30 mph winds

    • Since we were pretty cold, we decided to start the fire so we could make hot dogs and s’mores again and try and stay warm

Day 7: Saguaro Hotel

  • Joshua Tree

    • We woke up for sunrise, where we got to enjoy the funky trees with the colors streaming behind them

    • Packed up our camp site and it was still so windy that it looked like we were getting beaten up by the wind

  • Made our way to check in at Saguaro Hotel (1hr)

    • Time to take it all in and enjoy being able to finally relax and lay by the pool

  • Dinner at Azucar at La Serena Villas

Day 8: Head to Airbnb for Coachella

  • We laid by the pool for one more chill day before the Music Festival festivities began

  • Stopped by Desert X- Lover’s Rainbow

  • We all went in on an Airbnb in La Quinta, CA which is about 15 from the festival itself

Day 9-11: Coachella Music Festival

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